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Triplets! Three bouncy baby lemurs were born March 29

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

We’re so excited to announce the latest additions to our zoo family—the birth of three red ruffed lemur babies on March 29. This is the first lemur birth at Woodland Park Zoo in 16 years.

These three bouncing babies were born March 29th to first-time red ruffed lemur mom, Sally.

The triplets were born to first-time mom Sally who will turn 5 this summer. There are two adult males in Sally’s group—brothers Orion and Lucien who will be 14 years old next month. We don’t yet know which one is the father of the babies, but that’s not unusual in lemur groups. A genetic test may be done later to learn that.

We have not been able to determine the sexes of the babies yet, but quick neonatal exams have confirmed the triplets are thriving; the zoo’s animal health team will continue to perform exams to closely monitor their weight gains. Currently, they range in weight from 6.7 to 7.8 oz., which is within the norm for this species.

Hello little one!

The new mom and her offspring are currently in the off-view dens where they can nurse and bond in quieter surroundings. If the babies continue to stay on a healthy track, they should be outdoors in the public exhibit later this spring.

The red ruffed lemurs live in the outdoor Tropical Rain Forest loop where visitors can watch their nimble skills as they navigate through the trees. A colony of ring-tailed lemurs live in an outdoor habitat adjacent to the red ruffed lemurs.

Lemurs have long tails, which help them balance as they move through the rain forest canopy.

The lemur breeding was recommended by the Red Ruffed Lemur Species Survival Plan (SSP) which is a cooperative, conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of lemurs. Woodland Park Zoo participates in 111 Species Survival Plans, overseen by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Led by experts in husbandry, nutrition, veterinary care, behavior, and genetics, these plans also involve a variety of other collaborative conservation activities such as research, public education, reintroduction and field projects.

About red ruffed lemurs
  • All lemur species—which are primates that evolved separately from apes and monkeys—are native to the African island nation of Madagascar; they appear nowhere else in the wild outside of the island country.
  • Red ruffed lemurs live in Northeast Madagascar on the Masaola Peninsula. Their long tails, around 23 inches, help them balance as they move with dexterity through the canopies of the rain forest.
  • Red ruffed lemurs are very social and highly vocal. They communicate with each other through their voices and smells.
  • In their habitat range, red ruffed lemurs forage for fruits, nectar and pollen, and leaves and seeds in the dry season when fruit is scarce. At the zoo, the red ruffed lemurs enjoy a variety of fruits and veggies plus fresh leafy branches and leaf eater biscuits.

Red ruffed lemurs, like new mother Sally seen here, are an endangered species from the African island nation of Madagascar. Photo: Megan Blanford/Woodland Park Zoo

How to help lemurs
Every visit to the zoo supports conservation of animals in the wild, including the Madagascar Fauna and Floral Group to protect the rich biodiversity of Madagascar. Red ruffed lemurs are critically endangered, largely due to deforestation.

Be a smart shopper
Choose Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper and wood products to protect forest habitat and wildlife. By purchasing FSC-certified forest products, consumers help to protect lemur habitat by encouraging sustainable forestry and limiting overharvest of forest products (timber, fuelwood, fruits and honey). Without the FSC label, timber may come from illegal logging and forests that are not responsibly managed.

Become a ZooParent in honor of the baby lemurs!
ZooParent adoptions—which can include a plush toy—are the perfect way to pay tribute to the zoo’s newest lemurs. ZooParent adoptions help the zoo provide exceptional care for all of Woodland Park Zoo's amazing animals and support wildlife conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.


LoveApes said…
What fantastic news!